Actress Jean Stapleton dies at 90

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Actress Jean Stapleton dies at 90

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Jean Stapleton

NEW YORK - Jean Stapleton, the stage-trained character actress who played Archie Bunker’s far better half, the sweetly naive Edith, in TV’s groundbreaking 1970s comedy “All in the Family,” has died. She was 90.

Stapleton died Friday of natural causes at her New York City home surrounded by friends and family, her children said Saturday.

Little known to the public before “All In the Family,” she co-starred with Carroll O’Connor in the top-rated CBS comedy about an unrepentant bigot, the wife he churlishly but fondly called “Dingbat,” their daughter Gloria (Sally Struthers) and liberal son-in-law Mike, also known as Meathead (Rob Reiner).

Stapleton received eight Emmy nominations and won three times during her eight-year tenure with “All in the Family.” Produced by Norman Lear, the series broke through the timidity of U.S. TV with social and political jabs and ranked as the No. 1-rated program for an unprecedented five years in a row. Lear would go on to create a run of socially conscious comedies.

Stapleton also earned Emmy nominations for playing Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1982 film “Eleanor, First Lady of the World” and for a guest appearance in 1995 on “Grace Under Fire.”

“I wasn’t a leading lady type,” she once told the Associated Press. “I knew where I belonged. And actually, I found character work much more interesting than leading ladies.”

AP
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